New York Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks said Thursday that Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders should not be allowed to run in the Democratic primary for the 2020 presidential election.
Sanders will have to sign an attestation from the Democratic National Committee that he is a Democrat in order to run in the party’s primary, but Meeks believes Sanders should have to actually change his party registration, as well.
“Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat,” Meeks said during a CNN interview, noting the difference between running as a Democrat and registering as a Democrat. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders Emerges As Early Frontrunner As Democrats Line Up To Announce For 2020 Race)
“We’ve asked him on a continuous basis: ‘If, in fact, you want to be the Democratic nominee, you should be a Democrat. If you are not a Democrat, you should not run,'” Meeks said. “‘You should run as an Independent.’ He is not a Democrat. So, to me, I wouldn’t allow a Republican to run as a Democrat for the Democratic nominee.”
Meeks added, “I think that he should say if he wants to be a Democrat he should register in the Democratic Party, and then you can talk about running and to be my representative. I want a Democrat to be my representative as President of the United States, to be my nominee.”
The attestation Sanders has to submit to the DNC says that the candidate must be a “bona fide Democrat” and cannot have done anything publicly that is against the interests of the party.
Sanders’ announcement that he is running for president in 2020 was followed by an influx of donations to his campaign. The campaign was able to surpass the $1 million mark on Tuesday just four hours after announcing.